Burundi: AFP reporter, Col Ndenzako arrested


A wounded protester is detained by police as demonstrators try to march to the town center

Burundian journalist and AFP correspondent Esdras Ndikumana said he was arrested by government security forces and badly beaten on Sunday at the scene of the assassination of a top general.

Ndikumana, who also works for France’s RFI radio, said he was taking pictures at the site of the attack in the capital Bujumbura when he was arrested by members of the National Intelligence Service (SNR) and taken to their offices.

He was held for around two hours, during with he said he was subjected to severe beatings on his back, legs and the soles of his feet.

He was then released and hospitalised, with the injuries also including a suspected broken finger.

AFP’s global news director, Michele Leridon, said she was “very shocked” by the attack.

“We will seek explanations from the authorities in Burundi and an assurance that such an incident will not happen again,” she said in a statement.

“Our correspondent must be able to continue to carry out his work in complete safety.”

The assassination of General Adolphe Nshimirimana came just over a week after President Pierre Nkurunziza was declared the outright winner of controversial elections, securing a third straight term despite opposition protests and international condemnation.

Army colonel kidnapped and badly beaten

Meanwhile, Lt. Col. Ndenzako, commander of Ngagara military camp was also disarmed and kidnapped after the assassination.

Reports say he was supposedly arrested by military agents and whisked off to an unknown destination.

Ngagara military camp is located in North Bujumbura and is the same place where Gen Nshimirimana was assassinated.

Col Ndenzako later returned to his unit with bruises to his head, a sign that he had been badly beaten.

Four other people, including 3 Agathon Rwasa/FNL supporters were also beaten/arrested while another was shot dead in Ngangara.

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